A proud moment

Three and half years ago I took over a team of developers that everyone thought was lost. One man in particular had a bad attitude and the (then) director said to me “If you want to fire XXXX, I would be behind you.” He was a “9 to fiver.” He did his eight and left.

He has been working on a tough problem and we are about two months late. He has been putting in crazy hours. Even when I tell him to go home, he says “I just need to check one more thing.” When he does go home, he works on it there.

He just now figured it out. He sent me and email that said: “HOLY SHIT DUDE - I think I got it. <snip> I think I’m gonna cry - this is it for sure…”

Later he sent me the following:

Sometimes life is good, eh? I am proud of how much this man has change, how well he is doing, how hard he is trying. And it is nice to know that I’m not doing too badly either…

'Grats, pal! Managing people is something many can’t do.

That’s really great! It takes a special talent to be able to manage without making people feel controlled. And it’s especially nice to hear that you’re doing a good job, because it IS really hard to do well. Congratulations!


The guy sure had a lot of gall thinking he could just leave after putting in eight hours, rather than working extra hours for no extra pay. I would have just fired the bum like the director suggested.